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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

1-for-1 Housing Model Gives Buyers International Social Clout

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 18 February 2014 18:16

Buy a new luxury condominium and simultaneously finance the building of a new home for an impoverished family living off one of the world's largest garbage dumps. This striking juxtaposition of luxury and poverty allows socially-conscious real estate buyers to leverage the power of home ownership to fuel social improvement for families forced to live in slums and suffer terrible daily hardship.

On February 18, 2014, World Housing announces the official launch of its one-for-one real estate gifting model inspired by shoes. Yes, shoes.

During a chance meeting on a plane trip, TOMS Shoes founder and Texas native Blake Mycoskie revealed his globally-successful One for One® shoe-gifting model to fellow travelers Peter Dupuis and Sid Landolt, 32-year partners in Vancouver, B.C.-based S & P Real Estate.

Mycoskie explained how he put one and one together: a cleverly designed type of shoe worn by Argentinians inspired his shoe company, TOMS; and shoeless Argentinian children inspired a simple model for shoe giving. For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, one pair of shoes is given to a shoeless child to the tune of more than 10 million pairs donated in over 60 countries.

Luxury real estate marketers Dupuis and Landolt knew a great idea when they heard it. Dupuis found the Masters' thesis topic he'd been searching for to complete his degree. (He successfully defended last spring.) The global-marketing pair transformed Dupuis' research project into a social venture and business model - World Housing - which they hope will inspire consumers and professionals alike to contribute to third-world housing.

Life at a Cambodian dump
Life at a Cambodian dump

"The first question one has to ask if they are in a position to give homes away is, 'Who should you give them to?'," said Dupuis explaining how he identified those living off garbage dumps as the most needy. Then, he spent 3 years travelling to the worst dumps in the world, so World Housing could zero in on who to help and how.

World Housing has refined its powerfully-simple real estate sales model to engage luxury condominium developers intent on targeting well-off buyers who want more from their real estate on many levels. For every new luxury condominium unit sold at a certified World Housing development in the first world, a new home will be built for and gifted to a family in the third world.

Dupuis explains "the world's first real estate one-for-one gifting model" like this: "We sell real estate at the top of the housing pyramid and we give real estate away at the bottom of the housing pyramid...What we're after is using our [global network of] contacts and our abilities to help people - the most deserving people on earth who happen to be living in a garbage dump. They get a home and it really accelerates the good things going on in their life."

World Housing (WH) is "a for-profit community-contribution corporation" which Dupuis describes this way:

  • None of the WH profits go into the hands of WH shareholders.
  • Profits stay in the corporation to make WH stronger and able to do more social good.
  • WH founding members include celebrated condominium marketers from around the globe.
  • WH is not promoting a "slap on" or superficial marketing scheme. WH developers are certified as Platinum or Gold after they prove a track record of community involvement and a commitment to sustainable building practices. The first Platinum Developer, signed February 11, committed 420 condominium units to WH and agreed to pay the WH marketing fee of $3000 per unit for the "powerful public relations program which educates people about WH and includes social media" and funds gift of the new homes.
  • For WH, success is not measured as financial profit, but in social change which is measured in career training, job creation, standard of living improvement, and more.
New homes + new jobs
New homes + new jobs

"Last June, we did our Hawaii[-based] beta test that funded the start up of our factory and gifting of the first 60 homes," said Dupuis, explaining that the practical, scaleable model also enables employment of local youth, who are trained to build and install the self-contained, corrugated-metal homes - these teenagers are no longer garbage pickers!

"In November, we did home gifting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We're very pleased to tell you that we have 53 families in homes [now], another 15 homes in the factory ready to come out, and we're building 40 homes a month."

New WH homes +lifestyles
New WH homes +lifestyles

Real estate marketing and luxury real estate developments emerge as new drivers for building better housing and a better world.

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